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Russia's Illegal Annexation Ushers In A Dangerous New Phase Of The War

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Russia's Illegal Annexation Ushers In A Dangerous New Phase Of The War

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen on a screen set at Red Square as he addresses a rally and a concert marking the annexation of four regions of Ukraine Russian troops occupy - Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, in central Moscow on September 30, 2022. (Photo by Alexander NEMENOV / AFP) (Photo by ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)

ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the formal annexation of four territories in Ukraine on Friday, after the conclusion of what U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called "sham" referendums and "a complete farce."

NPR's Kat Lonsdorf talked with Ukrainians near the frontline about how the turmoil is affecting them.

Dara Massicot, a Russian military analyst with the RAND corporation, says, with this move, Putin has "burned bridges behind him," leaving him with few options to force a closure to the war. She says that makes this the beginning of a dangerous new phase.

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